Scars are very common and everyone is bound to have a scar somewhere on their body in their lifetime. Scars vary in size, shape, type, and depth. Many people postpone or hesitate about getting surgeries (whether it be for medical or cosmetic reason) due to the fear of lingering scars. Luckily, with advancements in medical procedures and techniques, there are ways to manage scars and make them less visible over time.
Causes of Scars
Scars are most commonly caused by damage to the skin, whether it be by surgery or accident. Nearly every surgery results in some form of a visible scar. Early incision lines often appear red that fades over time. Scars can also be caused by injuries such as deep cuts after a fall or accident. Everyone heals differently, but most scars fade over time.
Factors that Contribute to Scar Healing and Maturity
The speed at which a scar heals and matures is determined by genetics, skin type, overall skin health, and the type, size, and depth of the scar. A scar formation depends on the nature of the injury or trauma, the location, depth and length of a surgical incision or cannula entry point for liposuction. The scar is also highly impacted by internal and external conditions of wound healing, which is why it’s important to follow post-operative guidelines to ensure that the scar or post-incision wound does not get infected – otherwise you’ll be in for a longer ride in the journey of scar healing!
Genetics also has an impact on scar healing capacity. For example, some high-melanin skin types are highly prone to keloid scarring. Richly pigmented skin (Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian, and others) may end up with more visible scars or raised scar tendencies known as keloid scars.
Having a good immune system and healthy skin can help a lot when it comes to healing well from a scar.
Ways to Speed Up Scar Healing and Reduce Scar Visibility
Depending on the type, size, and depth of scar, the healing and maturity process can take up to 12 or 18 months. This can vary depending on each individual’s healing speed and capacity. Fortunately, there are ways to speed up this healing and maturity process. Silicone strips, light therapies, Dermapen microneedling, skin needling, chemical or enzyme peels, and other modalities have been shown to reduce the visibility of large post-operative scars after surgery. These are commonly used after mastectomy, breast cancer surgery, breast lift scarring, and tummy tuck procedures (along with other “mommy makeover scars”). In addition, it is recommended that patients eat nutritiously, stay hydrated, avoid smoking, and follow post-operative instructions precisely to minimize post-operative scar complications or stretched scar formations.
Using Silicone Strips for Reducing Scar Visibility
Silicon strips have been shown to help reduce scars for patients when used properly along with following all post-surgery instructions. Silicone strips are a topical treatment that consists of ultra-thin sheets of silicone that are applied and often worn 24 hours each day. They are placed over the scar formation area. These strips have a self-drying technology that allows them to dry on the skin within about 5 minutes after application.
Although silicone strips are topical in application (placed on top of the skin), they have the ability to reach deeper layers of the skin to help reduce the presence of visible scars over time.
Note that silicone strips are not inexpensive and they require extra care during the healing period. However, they have been shown to help reduce scars over time. It is important to note that they might not work effectively for every patient, and not every patient’s surgery might be suitable for silicone strips. The result might not be 100% elimination of the scar, as statistics have shown:
“Silicone strip product providers have reported these strips can produce up to: 86% reduction in scar texture (e.g. helping with smoothness), 84% reduction in colour, and 68% reduction in height (elevation) of the scars.” (Source: Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery, 2022).
Book a consultation with Body Love Ink and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!